“SANDMAN” Adaptation to Shun Clichés, Says Star/Producer Gordon-LevittBooks/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
After months of silence on the SANDMAN movie, actor-turned-producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt has finally revealed details on the progress of turning DC/Vertigo’s monumental comic epic into a movie. In an interview with MTV, he announces his intention to make an action film without ever throwing a punch. While the source material certainly has its moments of octane thrills and dark chills, it’s generally regarded as a high art comic that focuses on philosophy and human frailty to push it along. So, how does our young new-comer intend to balance the two?
“Big spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing shit up. This has nothing to do with that,” Gordon-Levitt explains to curious fans everywhere. “And it was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me, he said, “Don’t have any punching,” because he never does. If you read the comics, Morpheus doesn’t punch anybody. That’s not what he does. It’s going to be like a grand spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same old ordinary clichés. So, that’s why it’s taking a lot time to write, but it’s going to be really good.”
While perhaps a bit vague on the details, we can at least look forward to Gaiman putting the kibosh on any unnecessary violence to stay somewhat true to the original work. Speaking of the original work, for those unfamiliar with the SANDMAN comic, the story revolves around seven siblings who are the humanized versions of different parts of the human psyche. The Sandman, also known as Dream or Morpheus, is the central character of the series and spends the first story arc tracking down an item that was taken from him when he was captured by a magician.
As he comes across an array of characters, both human and none, he learns of the world that he missed out on in the past 70 years and what truly happens when living beings lose the ability to dream. The following story arcs introduce his siblings, explore various aspects of Morpheus’s existence, and the metaphysical happenings in and out of his domain. With Morpheus’s grandiose trips through Earth, Hell, and everywhere in between, even Gordon-Levitt admits the monumental task of bringing the work to the big screen. It’s not only about giving the visuals its proper dues but also the minutia details of transcribing the comics:
“It’s a really complicated adaptation because those comics, they’re brilliant, but they’re not written as a whole. It’s not like WATCHMEN, which is a graphic novel that has a beginning, middle, and end. SANDMAN was written over the course of whatever, I forget exactly, six or seven years. One at a time. One little 20-page issue at a time. And to try to take that and make it into something that’s a feature film- a movie that has a beginning, middle, and end- is complicated.”
While there is no release date yet, both Neil Gaiman and David S. Goyer have been tied to the project with DC’s parent company, Warner Bros, to produce it. Stay tuned on more updates on SANDMAN as they become available…